The streets a little bit further from the harbor are so colorful!
Apart from recycling Skopelos Go recycling is also cleaning the harbor with this nice machine which I had not seen before on Skopelos. Go Apostolis go!!
Because of a memorial service on Saturday morning, the children will now do an art class at 10 in the Sporades Center, attend the memorial and then go to the vineyard to make more drawings with with visiting Artist Judith M. Atkinson from Langara College.
Today there is a big celebration in the Greek orthodox church. Officially it is called “Raising Aloft of the Honored and Life-Giving Cross” in Greek; Ὕψωσις τοῦ Τιμίου καὶ Ζωοποιοῦ Σταυροῦ.
Of course there are names that are celebrated today and they are the very obvious Stavroula and Stavros (from “Stavros” meaning cross).
Anybody who wants to know more about the history of this feast read below. We found it interesting that the cross supposedly was found under a flower/bush called Basil (Vasiliko in Greek) Vasiliko meaning: of the king and that is why Vasiliko is used so often in the church. It is tied to the cross, it is used for blessings etc.
All Greek have basil/vasilikos in the summer in their window sills, it is given as a present, for good luck etc.
According to https://orthodoxwiki.org/Elevation_of_the_Holy_Cross this feast commemorates two events:
The finding of the Cross by the Empress Helen (the mother of St. Constantine the Great) on Golgotha in 326 AD, the place where Christ was crucified.
On the spot where the Cross was discovered, St. Helen had found a hitherto unknown flower of rare beauty and fragrance, which has been named “Vasiliko,” or Basil, meaning the flower of royalty. Note that the word “Vasiliko” means “of the King,” since the word “Basileus” in Greek means “King”; so, the plant Vasiliko, Basil, is tied to the Precious Cross of the King of Glory, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Underneath the Basil, the Cross of Christ was found, but with it were the other two crosses, those used to crucify the two thieves on either side of Christ. The sign with the inscription, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”, also lay among the three crosses. In order to determine which one was the true cross, a sick woman was told to kiss each of the three crosses. The woman kissed the first cross with no result. She kissed the second cross and again nothing happened. However, when the ailing woman kissed the True Cross, she was immediately made well. It so happened that a funeral procession was passing that way, and so the body of the dead man was placed on each of the crosses, and when it was placed on the True Cross, the dead man came to life — thus the name the “Life-Giving” Cross, which gives life not only to that man, but to each person who believes in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His all-glorious three-day Resurrection.
When the true Cross was identified, it was lifted on high for all the people to see, who then continually sang Kyrie eleison, a practice which is still enacted at current celebrations of this feast.
The recovery of the Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified from the Persians. The Persians had captured the True Cross as a prize of war when they sacked Jerusalem in 614 AD. It was recovered by the forces of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) in 627 AD, when Emperor Heraclius decisively defeated the Sassanid Persians at The Battle of Nineveh, surrounding their capital Ctesiphon, recovering the True Cross, and breaking the power of the Sassanid dynasty. The Elevation took place on March 21, 630 AD, when Emperor Heraclius entered Jerusalem amidst great rejoicing, and together with Patriarch Zacharios (609-632), transferred the Cross of Christ with great solemnity into the temple of the Resurrection, joyously held up for veneration by the Christian faithful.
Everybody is back at school today. After almost three months all students found their schoolbags again or are using the new ones they bought. In the high school the students have picked up their books which is a first because for many years many school books did not arrive until later in the month. What all the schools are waiting for now are the rest of the teachers because not all of them have arrived yet. The word in the media is that by the end of the month all the places for teachers in the schools will be filled up. Let’s wait and see!
Tonight we met two couples from the Netherlands in a taverna and they both stopped us when they heard that we write for Skopelosnews. All summer we have had readers coming into the office and we enjoyed all your positive comments about the blog so much! We appreciate it enormously that you take time to find out where we are and come to see us. It is for you that we write the blog in which we try to inform you about life on Skopelos. Thank you all!